Zero-waste advocacies are all the rage these days in social media. Various organizations and businesses are now starting to work together to promote the reduction of plastic wastes.
In the city of Muntinlupa, locals have taken into themselves the responsibility of educating the youth and the residents about responsible waste management. They formed a volunteer-led organization called Likha Initiative to call for zero-waste policies and awareness in Muntinlupa City. Debbie Bartolo, the 24 year-old local who founded Likha Initiative, fills us in:
What is the Likha Initiative about?
Likha Para sa Munting Lupa: Building Zero Waste City is a volunteer-led initiative that advocates for zero-waste policies in Muntinlupa City. We also support local initiatives that work against waste and pollution. We do this by conducting workshops and mentorship programs, establishing connections with potential partners, and forming communities that advocate for a zero-waste lifestyle.
What led you to the founding of Likha Initiative?
Upon coming back to Muntinlupa after working in Visayas, a tremendous pile of garbage from a junkshop welcomed my sight. It was in the pathway my niece and nephew usually take on their way to school. For some, it might not usually happen that they get buried in garbage, but for the likes of a hardworking senior citizen like Nanay Zendy and an esteemed local like Encar Delgado, this is their daily dose of reality. The birth of Likha Initiative is about them and the next generation. It’s about making sure that the fight against human and environmental injustice keeps on rolling.
Who are your stakeholders?
As the goal of Likha is to bridge the gap between the local community and the policy-makers, most of our engagements involve community leaders who have the knack for social service and entrepreneurship. We also educate children aged 8 to 15 living in Barangays Putatan and Alabang to make sure that our advocacy is passed on to the next generation.
What has the initiative done so far?
Most of our efforts have been focused on identifying the real issues in the Barangays and how we can resolve them. We have done mentorship programs, petition-signing initiatives, and government engagement. For the case of the junkshop near our area, we have been working on reporting their illegal operations. So far, the junkshop is not operational due to non-issuance of business permit. Some of their abandoned trucks in public spaces have also been removed as they have been accumulating wastes and causing flooding in the area.
We are also working on educating Muntinlupa children and community representatives through workshops and focus group discussions. As of now we have already established connections with other organizations, provided mentorship to leaders of existing enterprises, and conducted fundraising efforts for children’s needs.
Likha initiative is looking for volunteers and partners! Contact us for more information.